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The body is like an orchestra

The body is like an orchestra -- in order to get the best music -- all sections must be functioning at an optimum level according to Dr. Sy Pierre, the most recent medical professional to speak at the monthly Doctors Hospital Distinguished Lecture Series.
The anesthesiologist spoke on advances being made in anti-aging treatments and the treatment of degenerative diseases. He shed light on detoxification, diet, exercise and dietary supplementation, as well as bio-energy medicine, bio-oxidative medicine and bio-molecular medicine.
He told people that filled the hospital's conference room that no matter how many hormones someone pumps into a person, if their general health is not good, that it would not make any difference. And that the goal of medical professionals is really the prevention and treatment of the chronic, degenerative diseases that are at epidemic proportions.
With so many names -- anti-aging medicine, interventional endocrinology, orthomolecular medicine, functional medicine, allopathic medicine, alternative medicine, holistic medicine and integrative medicine -- Dr. Pierre said no matter what it's called, it all means one thing, the provision of the correct substance for the correct disease at the correct time with the goal being the prevention and treatment of chronic degenerative diseases.
Chronic degenerative diseases include cancer, heart and blood vessel disease, diabetes, hypthyroidism, hormonal dysfunction, menopause, andropause (male menopause) and other endocrine diseases, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Chron's disease, ulcerative colitis, autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
The epidemic
According to Dr. Pierre, The Bahamas is in the midst of an inflammatory crisis. In a graph he showed his audience what medical experts consider should be normal aging -- a person's birth, leveling off between ages 25 and 35, then going rapidly down to pass on to the afterlife between age 75 and 80. But he said what they're seeing now is people who are healthy a lot shorter than the average -- people attaining the age of 21-25 remaining healthy for a few years and then declining chronically, starting with hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and eventually cancer and some other disease.
He said with a disease like diabetes, at one time medical professionals used to break it down into juvenile diabetes and adult onset diabetes; but now it's so common early on that medical professionals just call it diabetes.
"We are in the midst of an inflammatory crisis," said Dr. Pierre.
Causing all of the inflammation, he said, is the presence of reactive oxygen molecules or free radicals; poor diet and lack of proper supplementation; lack of exercise; toxic personal care products; environmental toxins and electrical pollution, among other causes.
Free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced normally in humans as byproduct of oxygen utilization for energy. Normal amounts are essential for destruction of microbes, detoxification and excretion of toxins. Excessive amounts are dangerous.
"Reactive oxygen species are produced normally by humans or most animals that utilize oxygen for energy. And they actually have a good purpose as most things that we produce do and don't get rid off," said Dr. Pierre. "You produce them to fight increasing amounts of environmental toxins. But in excessive amounts he said they start attacking themselves and result in autoimmune diseases.
"When the immune system is attacked by these free radicals you get diseases such as Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, Chron's disease, inflammatory bowel disease and eventually cancer. If the endocrine system is attacked you see things such as diabetes, thyroid disease, ovarian cyst, endometriosis. Heart and blood vessel attacks result in hypertension, heart attacks and eventually strokes. Neurological problems include autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases."
Poor Bahamian diet
According to Dr. Pierre, the Bahamian diet -- one that's rich in sugar, processed carbohydrates, and unfermented dairy products - is a huge problem. He said the diet causes Hyperinsulinemia or Dysmetabolic Syndrome X, Gut Dysbiosis, Leaky Gut Syndrome and GERD.
"When you take large amounts of sugar and carbohydrate, the body responds by producing insulin, an androgenic or growth hormone. It's like a drug ... A heroin or cocaine addict is always trying to achieve that first high, but your body always responds in a way to say I'm not going to let it do it, so you take more sugar but you need more sugar to get the same effect, because your body is resisting it. In addition to driving sugar into the cells, insulin also creates plaque around your arteries and blood vessels. It also creates inflammation in the pelvis."
Dr. Pierre said people plagued with endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease should have their fasting insulin measured.
He told his audience that everyone has more bacteria and other microbes in their bowel than they have cells in their entire bodies and that they are good and bad but usually there is a balance. He said when a person takes in excessive amounts of sugar it feeds yeast like Candida, the abnormal bacteria and they get an overgrowth. The overgrowth, he added, creates tears in the bowel that allow "stuff" to leak into the blood stream, resulting in what is called Gut Dysbiosis.
"Because you're getting all these abnormal substances getting introduced into the body, your immune (system) sees it and attacks it; so now you have the autoimmune disease and now the body becomes mixed up. It does not know what is self and what is non-self so in addition to attacking these molecules, it attacks the blood vessels, kidneys, pancreas --you get diabetes."
One of the best forms of defense is offense, according to the doctor who said that exercise is important to increase oxygenation for immune system stimulation and detoxification.
"We all need to sweat. Sweat is probably one of the best methods of detoxification," he said.
While you get your sweat on, he said sensible sun exposure should also be taken into account because without sun exposure you miss the all-important Vitamin D, a hormone that he said most people are deficient in
"Black Bahamians in particular avoid the sun like the plague, but what is terrible is that the darker you are probably the more you need to be in the sun. Someone from Scandinavia who has red hair, freckles, blue eyes ... they can go out in the sun for 15 minutes and start to burn. There is a reason for that. Their skin is fair because of where they're descended from. They don't get a lot of sunshine so they need to absorb sun quickly whenever it is there. If obviously you're descendant from somewhere along the equator your skin needs to be darker to protect you from the sun, and so therefore the darker you are the more you need to be in the sun, and our people don't like to go in the sun," he said. According to Dr. Pierre, being in the sun is also a good method of detoxification, as it allows for sweating.
Personal care product alert
The doctor also urged people, especially women to be aware of the many personal care products they use in terms of toxicity.
"I usually say I think of a female in the morning getting dressed -- she may use shampoo, conditioner, she has hair color, relaxers, if they have weave some of them are using glue, one of the most toxic things known to man, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, gloss, facial creams, lotion, perfume, deodorant, nail polish, toothpaste, mouthwash, shaving cream, soap, dental amalgams (fillings), all of these things contain small amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminum, lead, iron, PCBs, petroleum distillates, things that are very toxic. What we have to understand is that fat tissue and in particular breast tissue is used as a toxic depot. When your body can't deal with substances it goes into these lymph nodes. Once they go into there and into the breast tissue if the body can't deal with it right then, it kind of pushes it and stays in the breast tissue until you sweat it or it leaks out slowly. When you have all of these substances going into your breast tissue it's no wonder breast cancer is so high," said Dr. Pierre.
"Any of these substances by themselves are probably not that bad, but once you start adding five, 10, 15, 20 substances, for five, 10, 15, 20 years of your life, your diet is poor, you don't exercise, you don't sweat, I'm surprised that the rate of breast cancer isn't higher. And it will go higher if we don't stop," he said.
As far as environmental toxins, Dr. Pierre says there isn't much that can be done about it because those toxins are in the air.
As for the diet, Dr. Pierre's advise is that people eat 60 percent raw or minimally cooked vegetables; 20 percent protein in some form whether eggs, meat, chicken or seafood; 10 percent nuts and about 10 percent fruits.
"A lot of people fool themselves and say I eat a lot of fruit so I'm healthy, fruit has a lot of sugar -- if you eat a lot of sugar you're going to secrete a lot of insulin and you cause all those bad things. Like anything else, too much of any one thing is no good. It's better to eat more vegetables than fruit," he said.
He endorses moderate exercise and said people should take advantage of walks on the beach that would also allow them to get sensible sun exposure.
And he told them to search out non-toxic personal care products, substances like baking soda which he said is a good deodorant and antiperspirant, toothpaste and foot powder.
Getting rid of toxins
Sweating to detoxify is the best way to rid the body of toxins as are coffee enemas and colonics, according to Dr. Pierre. He said an old therapy Pulse Electro Magnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy is coming back again. The therapy sends different waves of energy to the cells that are not functioning and kinds of shocks them back into functioning normally. He said if a person has cells of their pancreas that are not functioning properly and they have PEMF, they may be able to decrease the amount of insulin that they have to take. Or that if they have arthritis or joint issues and pain and they get their collagen and all their substances and their cells start to work properly again, they may have less joint pain and actually be more mobile.
He said oxidative medicine are more cutting edge unique therapies like the use of hyperbaric oxygen chambers and pushing pure ozone into cells of the body to increase oxygenation to decrease toxins and help the body to function a lot better. He said these treatments are good for people with hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, joint pain and arthritis.
Bio-identical hormone therapy
In biomolecular medicine a physician writes a prescription, but according to Dr. Pierre, what they are now trying to do is use more normal or natural occurring substances.
"If someone has a flu you can give them a high dose -- 50, 100, 200 grams of Vitamin C intravenously into their veins. This is a normal substance, it won't cause any problems and it will cure them over a day or two, especially for colds, flus. Substances like Vitamin C, high dose B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, these things are things are what our bodies lack and may be the reason for us getting the infection in the first place," he said.
In bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, hormones that are identical to those that the body produces and treat that are low or absent in bodies are replaced. It is the same principle used in diabetes when the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin.
"You're giving your body something that is now gone to the point where it cannot produce it in sufficient amounts any longer."
Depending on the hormone replaced, the medicine may be taken by mouth, may be used as a cream or get that is rubbed on the skin, or by the injection of a small amount of medicine under the skin a few times a week.
Primary replacement hormones include thyroid hormone, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and pregnenolone, testosterone, growth hormone, DHEA and melatonin.
According to Dr. Pierre, without a proper amount of thyroid hormone no other hormone or system works in the body.
"We all need adequate amounts of thyroid hormone. With deficiency you see decreased energy, chronic fatigue, early morning fatigue, decreased mental acuity, depression, weight gain, hair loss at the outer eyebrows, muscle joints, aches and pains, fibromyalgia, constipation and high cholesterol."
Progesterone deficiency in women he said causes early menopause. He said it's not so much the progesterone deficiency, but the fact that it's out of balance. Women he said suffer with insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, breast soreness, bowel changes, hot flashes, fibrocystic disease, ovarian cysts, abnormal uterine bleeding. He said progesterone deficiency in men isn't seen much, but if it does, it can cause sleep disturbances and anxiety.
Dr. Pierre said progesterone deficiency starts in the mid-30s, while estrogen deficiency starts later in life in the 50s and 60s. But he said if a person is replacing estrogen, they must also take progesterone as well.
"They must be used together [as] estrogen by itself will probably increase your rate of cancer."
Estrogen deficiency in men he said usually results in osteoporosis and bone loss. In women the results are hot flashes, night sweats, depression, dry, wrinkled and cracked skin, especially of the face, headaches, bone loss, vaginal dryness, recurrent urinary tract infections, strokes, heart attacks and cancer.
The primary anti-inflammatory
According to Dr. Pierre people have to have Cortisol, the primary anti-inflammatory of the body which is produced by the adrenal gland which has the richest store of Vitamin C in any organ of the body.
"If people are deficient [in Cortisol] they may have multiple chemical sensitivities, allergies, joint and muscle pains, loss of muscle and bone, high cholesterol, sugar and salt craving."
As people hit their 70s, Dr. Pierre said patients undergoing orthopedic surgery should look into having growth hormone therapy to make their surgical procedure a lot less likely to have side effects.
Growth hormone is a big player in all connective tissue such as bone, muscle, fat and any other connective tissue. It optimizes a person's immune function and is a good thing to replace if it's low according to the doctor. He said maximally it takes four to six weeks to start working so if a person needs surgery, they should speak to their surgeon a few weeks prior to their surgery.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) he said is the most abundant hormone in the body. When it's low he said people have a decreased sex drive, have frequent upper respiratory track infections, colds and flus, decreased body hair, weight gain and osteoporosis.
He said melatonin decrease is usually seen in older people who sometimes have difficulty sleeping and wake in the middle of the night. He said melatonin replacement may actually alleviate the problem and should not cause any side effects if used in normal doses.
o Dr. Pierre described HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) as the new wave hormone that is now sold for weight loss. HCG is produced naturally in humans. It's replacement is usually given by injecting a small amount of the liquid under the skin of the arm, leg or thigh, two to three times per week. HCGT is used to treat weight management challenges in men and women. It is also used to treat male menopause or andropause. But he cautioned that if it is being used that HCG should be supervised by a physician who is familiar with its use.

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